PENSACOLA, Florida — Nikki Haley’s right: Donald Trump is angry.
A day after the Republican South Carolina governor made a jab at Trump and others in urging the country to resist "the angriest voices," Trump told a crowd here Wednesday, "I am! I’m very angry because I hate what’s happening to our country."
Haley’s made the comments in delivering the Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday.
She also said no one willing to work hard "should ever feel unwelcome in this country" — an apparent response to Trump’s controversial statements about Mexican immigrants and his plan to temporarily bar Muslims from entering the U.S.
"Mr. Trump has definitely contributed to what I think is just irresponsible talk,” Haley said on the TODAY show Wednesday.
Trump attacked Haley hours before he took the stage in Florida, accusing her of being weak on immigration during a phone interview with MSNBC Wednesday.
At the rally, which was attended by more than 10,000, Trump also criticized U.S. foreign policy with Iran as "Jimmy Carter stuff" in an apparent reference to the 1979 hostage crisis.
Earlier Wednesday, 10 U.S. Navy sailors were released by Iranian authorities after being taken into custody Tuesday after their boats drifted into that country’s waters.
And Trump repeated his questions over rival Ted Cruz’ citizenship and his eligibility to be president. Cruz was born in Calgary, Canada, to an American mother.
Trump predicted that at Thursday’s Republican debate the other candidates would go after him — including Cruz, who had generally refrained from attacking Trump until recently.
"They’ll all be attacking me," Trump said. "Whatever, right? Whatever."
Trump supporter Robert Bedicord, 45, said Trump’s tone is sometimes over the top. “I think he could tone it down," Bedicord told NBC News. He favors Cruz as a potential vice presidential candidate.
But another supporter, Cissy Witt, said of Trump’s targets "if they’re not up to what he’s dishing out then they need to just go ahead and leave."